Due to recent significant enhancement of computer performance as well as computational techniques, molecular modeling and molecular simulations using computational chemistry can be achieved at the level of practical applications. Even in solvent extraction, the application of computational chemistry to simulations of extraction processes and the molecular design of high-performance extracting agents have gradually been increasing during the last decade. With combining the quantitative structure-property relationship between the molecule properties calculated by the computational chemistry methods and the thermodynamic properties obtained from experiments, researchers can precisely predict the next-generation of extracting agents and novel extraction processes. In this review, the concept of computational chemistry, such as molecular mechanics, molecular orbitals and molecular dynamics calculations, frequently used in the filed of solvent extraction, are outlined. Our systematic research on the solvent-extraction process utilizing MM, MO and MD calculations is also presented.
2004 by The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry